Wednesday, February 04, 1998

Erin's Violin Blog 7

We are developing quite a routine the past week or two! We are finally, for about the first time ever, managing to practise more than once or twice a week. We have had a dismal fall and winter on the violin, but are, I think, finally hitting our stride. We are working through lots of autonomy issues. Her growing maturity has meant that we are able to talk about our problems, and this has made a difference. I am amazed by how well she understands her own feelings, even when she needs some help verbalizing them . And we are working out ways of helping her to communicate her feelings to me, rather than just shutting down, which is her natural inclination. It is incredibly hard work for me, but I think we are beginning to make some progress. We are doing nothing more with the instrument than what we were doing last summer: technique-wise we have stepped way back, but this is definitely the right direction to be going for now.

She is desperately in need of a peer group, though. Last week we heard her grandma interviewed on national radio after Dr. Suzuki's death. A young student had accompanied her to the studio and played a stellar version of Boccherini's Minuet at the end of Book 2. You would not believe how turned on Erin was by hearing Chloe's voice and violin on the radio. We taped the interview and Erin has wanted to hear it several times since.

The other day we were faithfully practising together on open strings. She was bowing, and I was using my finger on her finger-board to make the F-sharp after an open A and an open E rhythm. Suddenly she decided she could do that, and up went the hand and she took over. So we are back to using fingers! I didn't ask her to try it at all. She just decided it was time. I'm glad the initiative was hers. She is very pleased, and now wants to start working with the other fingers again.

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